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Interpreting Standardized Test Scores
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Interpreting Standardized Test Scores
Strategies for Data-Driven Instructional Decision Making



June 2007 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The vast majority of educators—for whom scores resulting from standardized tests are so potentially vital and informative—have literally never received formal training regarding how to interpret these scores and, more importantly, how to use them to aid their instructional decision making.

The basic purpose of this book is to provide teachers and administrators with a manual, of sorts, designed to help them understand the nature of standardized tests and, in particular, the scores that result from them. The definitive purpose of the book is to help them develop the skills necessary to incorporate these test scores into various types of instructional decision making (a process known as `data-driven decision making') as necessitated by the needs of their students. This title includes:

- Numerous samples of printouts resulting from well-known standardized tests

- Presentation and discussion of various process that can be used to incorporate standardized test results into instructional decision making

- Several specific examples, using sample results of these well-known standardized tests and the processes, such as how a teacher would proceed through the process of using the test scores to aid in making decisions about future instruction

- Case studies, consisting of interviews conducted by the author with district-level administrators, building administrators, and classroom teachers, all of whom have been engaged in a process of incorporating test scores into decision making for several years

This book could serve as a supplement to any course that incorporates standardized testing as a topic, including but not limited to courses in classroom assessment, educational psychology, content methods, reading, special education, curriculum, literacy, administration, the principalship, and the superintendency.

 
Preface
 
SECTION ONE: OVERVIEW OF STANDARDIZED TESTING: CONCEPTS AND TERMINOLOGY
 
1. What Is "Standardized" Testing?
What Makes a Test "Standardized"?  
A Brief History of Standardized Testing in American Education  
How Standardized Tests Are Developed  
Test Bias  
Types of Standardized Tests Based on Purpose  
Types of Standardized Tests Based on Scores  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
2. The Importance of Standardized Testing
Appropriate Uses of Standardized Testing in Education  
Misuses of Standardized Testing in Education  
Why Educators Dislike Standardized Testing  
Why Educators (Should) Like Standardized Testing  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
3. Standardized Test Administration and Preparation
Standardized Administration Procedures  
Testwiseness Skills  
Do's and Dont's of Test Preparation  
"Teaching to the Test" Versus "Teaching to the Standards"- A Final Word  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
SECTION TWO: STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES AND THEIR INTERPRETATIONS
 
4. Test Reports
Overview of Test Reports  
Individual Student Reports  
Class Reports  
Building- and District-Level Reports  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
5. Criterion-Referenced Test Scores and Their Interpretations
What Do Criterion-Referenced Test Scores Tell Us?  
Selected-Response Test Items  
Constructed-Response Test Items  
The Nature of Cut Scores  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
6. Norm-Referenced Test Scores and Their Interpretations
What Do Norm-Referenced Scores Tell Us?  
The Nature of Norm Groups  
Types of Norm-Referenced Scores  
Standard Error of Measurement and Confidence Intervals  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
SECTION THREE: USING STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES IN INSTRUCTIONAL DECISION MAKING
 
7. Group-Level Decision Making
Data-Driven Decision Making  
A Process for Focusing on Group Instruction  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
8. Student-Level Decision Making
A Process for Focusing on Individual Instruction (Intervention)  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
9. Value-Added Analysis and Interpretation
What Is "Value-Added" Analysis?  
A Process for Value-Added Decision Making  
Summary  
Activities for Application and Reflection  
 
SECTION FOUR: CASE STUDIES: INTERVIEWS WITH TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS
 
District and School Profiles
 
Interview Transcripts: Teachers
 
Interview Transcripts: Administrators
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Author

"Craig A. Mertler's approach would reduce your stress level as his book walks the reader through the various assessments often encountered in schools and helps the reader make better use of the information embedded in accountability reports.  The book is well-organized and provides clear and thorough descriptions of the myriad terms the reader will encounter with assessments."  —Lane B. Mills, THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR

Lane B. Mills
East Carolina University
The School Administrator

Not enough course time to cover adequately. An excellent, well-written, easy to understand book that was included on the list of recommended resources.

Dr Carol Webb
Educational Admin , Western Illinois University
February 8, 2010

Thorough treatment, well-written. Appropriate for my School Leadership students.

Professor Steven Poris
Education Dept, Touro College
January 9, 2010

For instructors

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